Safety Tips for Monday’s Historic Total Solar Eclipse

This is Governor Janet Mills, and thank you for listening.

Well, on April 8th, more than half of the state of Maine will be able to see the total solar eclipse for up to three and a half minutes.

This makes our state the best place in New England and one of the best places in North America to witness this once-in-a-generation event.

We’ve been preparing for this eclipse since last year to make sure Maine makes the most of this great opportunity and the many economic benefits that will come along with it.

The Maine Emergency Management Agency has been coordinating with other state agencies and local, municipal, and county workers to make sure people are safe.

We expect tens of thousands of people to come to Maine to enjoy this great event, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome them.

But we also want to make sure the residents and visitors alike can enjoy the eclipse safely anywhere in the state of Maine.

I’d like to share a couple of tips.

First, arrive early at your destination, and because Maine has so much to offer, we encourage visitors to stay late.

If you’re driving, stick to paved and public roads and watch for any disoriented wildlife that may wander to the roadway, especially during the eclipse.

Make sure you have a full tank of gas and paper maps and plenty of snacks and water.

Second, make sure the location you’ve chosen to watch the eclipse from is accessible. For example, Baxter State Park and other state park campgrounds will be closed and dirt roads may be impassable because of muddy conditions. If you plan to hike through the woods to a viewing location, please stay on marked trails and match your level of experience.

Of course, no matter where you go, you should also pack warm clothes because it is April in Maine and the weather is unpredictable. During the eclipse, the temperature may drop as much as ten degrees.

Remember, when you’re enjoying the eclipse, make sure you’re wearing appropriate eye protection. Regular sunglasses won’t do it at all. Eclipse glasses block the sun’s radiation from reaching your eyes and causing permanent damage. You can buy them at stores and you can purchase them online. Be sure to look for the term “ISO-certified.”

Be prepared for the possibility of traffic delays, of course, following the eclipse. A lot of people will be getting back on the road. So please be patient. Be ready. Make sure you have what you need in your vehicle.

Look, a lot of these recommendations don’t come as a surprise. They’re pretty common sense. But they bear repeating so that folks understand the importance of them ahead of time.

If you plan properly, you’re setting yourself up to have a great time and your family too, enjoying this once-in-a-generation event safely. That’s what we want.

These tips and other information about how to safely view the eclipse are available on our Eclipse website at That’s

Of course, you don’t have to travel to western or northern Maine to get a great view of the eclipse. Many Maine communities, including Bangor, for instance, will experience a partial eclipse, and there are many eclipse-themed events that are happening in towns across our state. You can find a list of those events on the Maine Office of Tourism’s website at That’s

I know the Astronomy Center staff at the University of Maine will also be hosting public stargazing events and that students from the university will be livestreaming the eclipse with a high-altitude weather balloon launched in hopefully clear skies. So you might be able to watch the eclipse by live streaming as well.

In 1963, during the last total eclipse in Maine, hundreds of thousands of people descended on small towns in Aroostook County with handmade pinhole cameras to witness nature’s most startling phenomenon. Down East Magazine remarked at that time that Maine would not be visited by another total eclipse within the next 200 years. And yet, on Monday, Maine will once again have the best seats in the House for a historic total solar eclipse.

I encourage you to arrive early, stay late, check on traffic. And I look forward to watching this eclipse with all of you on Monday, April 8th.

This is Governor Janet Mills, and thank you for listening.